How can a sense of identity and belonging be preserved when living under or fleeing extreme social conditions? And what role do the body and memory play in processing the hereditary traumas caused by violent historical events? These are the questions at the heart of Yvette Brackman’s major solo exhibition AGIT FLIGHT, which continues her investigation of the ways social and political structures influence personal destinies.
Based on the artist’s own family history and their experience as Jews during the Soviet regime, the exhibition unfolds as a choreography charting the complex story of war, anti- Semitism, persecution and exile – but also flexibility, adaptability, transformation and mobility.
As a basis for the exhibition, in collaboration with the authors Gitte Broeng and Suzi Tucker, Brackman has written a play exhibited in newspaper format. The text is based on the futuristic opera Victory Over the Sun (1913), whose creators included Kazimir Malevich. The reference is, however, largely formal. In the rewritten version, the characters have been replaced by members of Brackman’s family, fictional witnesses and historical figures, all of them incarnating different perspectives and reactions to the events. Whereas the original opera adhered to the revolutionary, utopian ideas of the day and propagandised for a better society through severance with the past, here the implication is that the past has to be reclaimed to change the future.